It's time for a fresh start for North Somerset. Richard Foord and the Liberal Democrats want to change the future for you and your family. And this is how we're going to do it.
Stop the vicious Tory attack on our schools
North Somerset’s schools are set to lose over £10 million in funding by 2020. That’s equivalent to 276 fewer teachers in our classrooms.
The Liberal Democrats oppose these vicious cuts. We want more teachers and more money for our schools.
Under the Tory government’s plans, all of North Somerset’s schools stand to lose out. For example:
- St Nicholas Chantry Primary School in Clevedon could lose FOUR teachers;
- Portishead Primary School could lose FIVE teachers; and
- Backwell School could lose FOURTEEN teachers.
We want more funding and more teachers for our schools. Because education is the key to creating a fair, open and prosperous society. And every child should get the very best education that we can provide.
More houses for local people
We all dream of owning a home of our own. But for many of our young people, it will remain just that - a dream. The average house price in North Somerset is now more than £275,000. And with far too few new houses being built each year, it is set to rise even further.
We believe that people should be able to have a decent home at a cost they can afford.
We propose to build 300,000 new homes a year across the UK. We will help housing associations and councils to build more homes through better access to finance. And we will create a Housing Investment Bank to generate funding for new homes and to support for the construction industry in recruiting enough workers.
We also want to reform radically the private rented sector to make it cheaper, safer and more secure to live in. This includes banning letting fees for tenants and putting in place stronger measures to tackle rogue landlords.
Fighting to stay in the European Union
We don't want Britain to leave the European Union. The EU has brought peace and prosperity to the continent and has created a market of over 500 million people for the UK's goods and services.
While we respect the result of the EU referendum, the British people voted for departure, not for a destination.
We believe that Britain is better off working with its European neighbours. The Tories want a disastrous ‘hard’ Brexit that could cripple our economy and see us isolated in the world.
We are fighting for the UK to remain in the single market. And we want the British people to be given the final say on a Brexit deal.
Funding the NHS properly
The Liberal Democrats recognise that the National Health Service is in crisis. But we know that blaming doctors and cutting funding is not the answer.
We want to raise an additional £4.9 billion a year for the NHS, so that it can provide you and your family with the best possible healthcare for both physical and mental health.
To do this, we are proposing to raise income tax by one penny in the pound. For someone earning £25,000 a year, that means an increase of just £3 a week.
Locally, we're committed to protecting Clevedon Community Hospital, so that local people can be treated locally, rather than having to travel to Bristol or Weston.
Creating sustainable transport networks
Anyone who has tried to get into or out of Portishead during the rush hour will know that our transport system in North Somerset isn't working quite as it should.
We need better, safer roads. But we also need to rethink our transport network. This means more and better buses, dedicated cycle routes and the construction (at long last) of the Portishead rail link.
We'd also like to bring more employment opportunities to our North Somerset towns, so that fewer people need to commute to Bristol or Weston.
Combating climate change
Climate change is happening. And the threat to our communities and our natural environment, even here in North Somerset, is real and profound.
We must act now to reduce carbon emissions, locally and globally. We want to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2015. And we have a plan for how we'll do it.
We propose to invest significantly in renewable energy, ending the Tories' cuts to the funding of solar and wind power. We want Britain to be a world leader in green energy, which will bring jobs and sustainable economic growth while showing the world what can be achieved.
Protecting the natural environment
We want to protect the natural environment for our children and for the generations to come. We will protect and preserve our beautiful countryside. And we will create more green spaces where our children can play safely, while learning to respect the natural world around us.
Our farmers here in North Somerset do a fantastic job of protecting our natural heritage and putting food on our tables. But food policy has been neglected for too long by politicians who just don't understand rural life.
We will work to secure the future of the UK farming industry by encouraging investment, growth and innovation. And we will do all we can to encourage young people to choose farming as their career.
If this sounds like the North Somerset that you want for you and your family, vote Richard Foord and the Liberal Democrats on June 8th.